There are many different types of communication: verbal words, written words, body language, visual cues.
There are other important factors to consider with effective communication: timing, tonality, inflection, eye contact, noise.
But perhaps the most important factor in successful communication is GENDER.
The communication styles between men & women can be vastly different………….
Let me roll back the clock to Sunday.
Background info: I have to attend a baby shower for one of hubby’s cousins. I’m completely not a girlie, girl and I find these things to be incredibly painful. Not because I don’t care about the people involved, not because I don’t want to celebrate a new baby and not because I’m a total biatch (ok, maybe this is why….) but because, if you asked me one of the best ways torture me in hell after I die, it would be to continually put me into a banquet room filled with women for an excruciating 4 hours. If you love baby/bridal showers… more power to ya but, it’s just not my thing.
Anyhow, I’m already bitter cause hubby doesn’t have to go to this thing (why do guys get to escape?). So, I’m getting ready and the phone rings and I can hear hubby talking to someone. I hear words like bungee cords and sanders and probably a few other things. I infer it’s his Dad that he’s talking to but he never actually says this. He hangs up the phone, heads to the garage, brings in our sander and puts it on the kitchen table. No comment, no explanation, and, to be quite honest, I don’t ask.
I leave for the shower.
I’m gone from the house for about 3 minutes and my cell phone rings… I can see it’s hubby.
Me: “Hey babe, what’s up”
Hubby: “You forgot the sander.”
Me: “Uhm, no I didn’t”
Hubby: “Yes, you did”
Me: “Uhm, no I didn’t”
Hubby: “You were supposed to bring it to my mom”
Hubby: “I told my Dad you’d bring this to her, since you’ll see her at the shower”
Me: “Ok, but when did you tell ME this?”
Hubby: “Well, you saw me get it from the garage”
Me: “Yeah, but how was I supposed to know that I was supposed to take it?”
Hubby: “I just thought you knew. I guess it was a miscommunication”
Me: “No, actually it wasn’t a miscommunication…. It was an complete lack of communication”
Hubby: “Well, I just assumed you knew… you heard me on the phone.”
Me: “Honey, I’m not a mind reader”
Hubby: “Ok, well, can you just tell my mom you forgot it”
Me: “No, I can’t tell her I forgot it, BUT, I can tell her this story so she knows you never actually told me to bring it”
And, there you have it… the epitome of failed communication.
How many times have you heard a man complain that a woman wants him to “be a mind reader” or “read between the lines”
Well, contrary to popular belief, I am not a mind reader either!
And, after conveying this story to hubby’s mom.. once again, we had a good chuckle about how we both have to contend with the same stuff at home. The apple certainly didn’t fall far from the tree with hubby & his dad!
What’s your best “failure to communicate” story?